Article Written by Hudson Stewart (@hudson_stewart6)
Since being called up last Sunday, Danny Jansen has been raking at the big league level. Jansen has recorded a hit in each of his first 6 games in the majors, and is currently hitting .381 with a home run and 3 RBI's. He’s also put himself onto a pretty interesting list in the Blue Jays' franchise record books. By recording a hit in his first 6 games, Jansen has put himself into a tie for the longest hit streak by a Blue Jay player to start their career. The record is held by Jesse Barfield and Ryan Goins, who both had an 8 game hit streak to start their career.
It’s been nice to see Jansen succeed this much, because a few of the Jays’ other rookies had a rough time over the weekend in New York. In his 2nd MLB start, Sean Reid-Foley only lasted 4.1 innings, while giving up 6 earned runs on 7 hits. And then the very next day, Ryan Borucki - who was lights out in the MLB prior to this start - lasted only 0.2 of an innings, while giving up 6 earned runs on 4 hits. Reid-Foley has since been optioned back to Triple-A, but will definitely be brought back up with the big club again this season.
In other news, the Blue Jays announced that Wednesday’s starting pitcher against the Orioles will be Thomas Pannone, who has pitched a few times out of the bullpen for the Jays, but has yet to make his debut as a starter. I’m interested to see how that goes, because I could definitely see Pannone being a lefty specialist out of the bullpen with his good curveball. But I also think it’s his intention and the team’s intention for him to be a starter going forward.
If Pannone is able to succeed as a starter this year, he could definitely challenge for a spot in it next year. So far, I think there are 3 locks for next year’s rotation: Stroman, Sanchez, and Borucki. That leaves 2 spots up for grabs, and I do expect the Jays to sign a free agent starter this off-season. That will probably mean that the 5th starter position is battled for by Reid-Foley, Pannone, Sam Gaviglio, and probably others as well. If they’re all healthy, then I think that the Jays will have a great rotation next year, but that is a huge "if." Sanchez and Stroman can lead this rotation very well, but they’ve both battled injuries throughout this season, and they haven’t been able to get out there every 5 days as much as the Blue Jays need them too. Sanchez has especially battled injuries, as he’s now had 2 straight years where he hasn’t pitched consistently, and that’s been really frustrating for the team and the fans.
Another interesting bit of news regarding the Blue Jays is that Lourdes Gurriel Jr. has been promoted to Triple-A and may join the Jays over the weekend. Gurriel Jr.’s knee injury could not have come at a worse time for him, as he was in the midst of an 11-game multi-hit streak (he had at least 2 hits in 11 straight games). The record for consecutive multi-hit games is held by Rogers Hornsby, who had 13 in a row in 1923. It’ll be interesting to see where Gurriel Jr. plays next season. I would expect him to start the year with the Jays, and honestly, with the way he’s hit this year, I’d put him at shortstop to start the 2019 season. We probably won’t see Bo Bichette in the MLB to start next season, so I’d like to see Gurriel get some more time at short. If the Jays need to, they can move him to 2nd or 3rd.
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